Central Beds wind farm plans declined

CONTROVERSIAL plans to build a wind farm near a Bedfordshire village have been refused due to fears of excessive noise.

Central Bedfordshire councillors decided yesterday (Wednesday), 12 votes to six, to turn down The Co-operative Group’s proposal for a 10-turbine wind farm just a stone’s throw from Langford.

The town’s parish council spearheaded a campaign against the wind farm, and its case was presented by Tony Fisher at the meeting, held at Central Bedfordshire Council HQ, in Chicksands.

The parish councillor said: “The wealth of opinion and indeed anger in Langford has always been against it, and that’s been displayed through the number of letters that have gone in to the planners, and the 1,300 names that went in last year.

“There’s a lot of anxiety about it.”

When asked if he thought the decision signalled the end of the council’s struggle Mr Fisher said: “I don’t know. That really is up to the developers.”

Mr Fisher also said he was concerned that if the plans were approved it would set a precedent to allow wind farms to be built closer to homes. The nearest property to the proposed site was 700 metres away.

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Prior to the meeting The Co-operative group had released findings from an independent survey that found people in Central Beds were receptive to the idea of using renewable energy to combat climate change.

Rob Ellis, sustainable development manager for The Co-operative Group, said: “We are very disappointed that our planning application to build a 10-turbine wind farm in Langford has been turned down by Central Bedfordshire Council.

“We are especially disappointed that the planning committee refused our application on noise grounds, as we undertook a rigorous noise assessment, using independent consultants, which determined that the proposal would fully comply with the required noise guidelines set out in National Planning Policy.

“The wind farm would have supplied approximately 11,400 homes with clean, green energy by generating 47 million kilowatt hours of electricity – saving between 18,000 and 43,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere, and not forgetting the direct economic and community benefits for the local area.

“We are now considering our next steps.”